The holidays are here, and for many homeowners, that means installing strings of lights and other decorations on your home. This may be the most wonderful time of the year, but for many homeowners, holiday decorating can lead to accidents. That’s why it’s important to keep these basic decorating safety tips in mind before you head up to your roof.
Prep your materials
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting all the way up to the roof and finding out that your lights aren’t working, or even worse, getting zapped from a short in the cord. It’s worth the extra few minutes to check your outlets and power sources, as well as your lights and cords while you are on the ground. Be sure to use extension cords rated specifically for outdoor use.
Pick a light/clear time of day
It may be tempting to wait until dusk so you can see the lights all lit up as you go, but don’t. Set aside a good chunk of daytime so you don’t feel rushed and check the weather forecast to make sure there’s no rain, snow, or wind expected. You don’t want to wrestle with an inflatable snowman on a windy day or try to secure a plastic sleigh on an icy rooftop.
Clear the roof
A clear and clean roof is important for many reasons, including preventing accidents. No matter how many decorations you want to put on your roof, you should always start by making sure your roof and gutter system is clear of dirt, debris, leaves, and other materials that could present a tripping or slipping hazard.
Stay safe on the ladder
Make sure you have a sturdy ladder designed to support your weight. Set up your ladder on a flat, level surface, such as a driveway or walkway, and away from power lines, electrical equipment, and doors that could be opened. Your ladder should be set at a 75-degree angle, extended at least three feet over the roofline or working surface, and you should not stand on the top three rungs of the ladder. Also, consider getting a spotter or helper.
Gear up for safety
Wear shoes with a soft rubber sole for extra traction and keep the bottom of your shoes free of mud and dirt. Use a tool belt to carry your tools and decorating essentials. You should never use staples, nails, screws or other penetrating fasteners to attach holiday decorations to your roof. Instead, use removable plastic clips and hooks that won’t put holes in your roof or gutters. There are even magnetic clips and lights that can easily attach and detach from metal gutters and roof eaves.
Know your limits
Don’t get on the roof unless you’ve done it before, you’re in great shape, and you have excellent balance. You can always hire someone to do the outdoor decorating for you.
Ready to replace your roof?
If you make the trek up to your roof and notice signs of damage, it might be time for a complete replacement. When you are ready for a new roof, contact Absolute Exteriors to get a free estimate on a new roof for your home in Ellisville, Chesterfield, Ballwin, and surrounding areas.
Learn more about residential roofing.